Archive | June, 2015

Daily Dental Tip: The Downfall of Coffee & Tea

30 Jun


 Reduce your intake of tea or coffee to avoid getting unnecessary stains on teeth.


Why Falling Asleep Without Brushing Your Teeth Is Actually Pretty Darn Gross (via @HuffingtonPost)

30 Jun

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The question: Just how gross is it really if I forget to brush my teeth before bed every once in a while?

The answer: Bad news: It’s pretty gross. You probably already know that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing those pearly whites twice a day. You also probably know that brushing your teeth is one of the easiest ways to avoid scaring off your date.

But brushing is important for reasons beyond fresh breath. Skip a session, and you’re on your way to encouraging the growth of bacterial buildup in the form of plaque, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.

“In the middle of the day, [run your tongue] across your teeth right around the gum line. You’ll find something sticky or fuzzy,” Deepinder “Ruchi” Sahota, DDS, a dentist in Fremont, California, and a spokesperson for the ADA, tells The Huffington Post. “That’s plaque.”

Brushing, thankfully, “disrupt[s] that bacteria so it doesn’t stay in place,” she says, because if left in place, it starts to attack your teeth. Plus, the longer that plaque sits in one place, the more likely it is to become tartar, “that hard, yellow, rough material you sometimes feel in between your teeth” that can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums, she says. Leave that untreated for too long, and you could risk losing teeth.

While there’s not exactly a precise timeline of when plaque becomes risky, “you can start the process of a cavity by not brushing once, absolutely,” says Sahota, especially if your occasional forgetfulness is more frequent than you’d like to admit. (We won’t tell.)

However, doing a so-so job brushing can be just as bad, Sahota warns. That twice-a-day routine is no joke, preferably with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Each brushing session should last about two minutes and cover all surfaces of the teeth, not just the parts we see when we smile, she says. The ADA also recommends flossing once a day and seeing a dentist regularly to take care of the rest (like that tartar, which only a dentist can truly clean, she says).

Also, no cheating: Gum, mints and mouthwash are no brushing replacements. All three can give your mouth a fresher feel, says Sahota, but “brushing and flossing are the only ways to effectively, physically remove the plaque.”


Daily Dental Tip: Visit The Dentist!

29 Jun


Come in for checkups at least twice a year. The ADA suggests that the frequency of the regular visits should be tailored by the dentist to accommodate for the patient’s current oral health status and health history. In addition, high-risk patients, such as those who smoke or patients with diabetes, may benefit from more frequent visits and cleanings to prevent periodontal disease.

Promoting oral health during pregnancy (via @DentistryIQ)

29 Jun


In 2012, “Oral Health Care during Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement—Summary of an Expert Workgroup Meeting” contained a consensus statement, resources for health professionals, and other materials.1 This article reviews the June 2015 update to that document.2

In 2013, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funded projects “to reduce the prevalence of oral disease in pregnant women and infants through improved access to quality oral health care,” as stated in the Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement Initiative (PIOHQI).3

The first phase of the PIOHQI supports projects in Connecticut, New York, and West Virginia. Other states coordinating efforts to improve the oral health of women and infants are California, Missouri, and North Carolina.4,5,6 Massachusetts has a comprehensive document, “2014 Perinatal Care Recommendations.”7DentaQuest has a handout in English and Spanish titled, “Oral Health during Pregnancy,8 containing blogs, tip sheets, and videos.

One study evaluated the knowledge of the risk of being obese, management of that risk, weight misperception, and diet and attitudes among women planning on becoming pregnant, as compared to those not intending to become pregnant.9 The conclusion was that women need more counseling in regard to these risks to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

A new Delta Dental survey found that 42.5% of expecting women in United States do not visit the dental office.10 Delta Dental advises pregnant women to visit the dental office, and suggests questions that might need to be asked of the oral care professional.

In other news, the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative hosted a webinar “Women and Tobacco: Why Gender Matters,” and included information on tobacco use and pregnancy.11

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

There are considerations regarding pharmaceuticals and pregnant women. In the past, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used a letter classification for safety of drug use in pregnant women. Most physicians did not find this classification useful. The FDA proposed a rule that will replace these letter categories with more robust and informative data (see above).

Within the subsections, drug manufacturers must include a summary of the risks of using a drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding, a discussion of the data supporting the summary and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing and counseling decisions, according to the FDA.12

The final rule from the FDA that sets these new standards for information regarding risks and benefits for drugs and biological products used during pregnancy and breastfeeding went into effect on June 30.

Click here to view a helpful chart regarding pharmacology and pregnant women.13

And last, but not least, a dental hygienist or dentist may themselves be pregnant. On May 29, 2015, the California Dental Association posted, “What to expect when your employee is expecting.”14 It discusses: pregnancy discrimination; wearing a dosimeter; pregnancy leave; the risks and apprehension regarding exposures to nitrous oxide, mercury, radiation, and other chemicals; and much more.

As you can see, there are numerous resources available to assist you if you are expecting, as well as during the treatment of your pregnant patients!


#DailyDentalTip: Cheese + Oral Health

27 Jun


You can eat cheese at the end of your meal to increase the salivary flow and reduce the risk of cavities. Cheese cleans the sugar out of your mouth.

#Maryland: @MDAC01 offers list of #oralhealth books for kids

27 Jun


The Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) has released a list of 22 recommended children’s books on oral health. The coalition said the books will support increased access to oral health information for children, families, and health professionals.

Books on the list include The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, in addition to numerous others on teeth brushing, flossing, dental appointments, and healthy eating.

More than 50 oral health books were reviewed by a team that included a pediatric dentist, a school nurse, a pediatric nurse practitioner, an early childhood teacher, a dental hygienist, dental and dental hygiene students, library professionals, and health education specialists.

“This project was especially rich because of its collaborative process,” Katy Battani, health education coordinator for MDAC, said in a release. “The diverse team of professionals offered various perspectives which allowed for a well-rounded assessment of each book reviewed.”


Daily Dental Tip: Snack On Fruits & Veggies

25 Jun

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Try and munch on natural vegetables and fruits to satisfy your cravings as the fibers in them act as natural cleansers for your teeth.